Keep Stress and Anxiety in Check

With the holidays over, a great deal of stress may be lifted from people around this time of year. Many people, however, will continue to suffer with anxiety throughout the rest of the year.  About 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety (ADAA); that’s about 18% of Americans.  Anxiety is the most common mental illness in the United states, and although anxiety is treatable, only about a third of the people suffering from anxiety will get treatment (Do Something.)

Children also suffer from anxiety. About one out of every eight children experiences from some form of anxiety.  Children often have trouble expressing their feelings of anxiety, so it is important that parents and care-takers are aware of signs of anxiety in children.  Being aware of children’s emotions and staying calm can help alleviate anxiety in children.  Routine also plays a major role in anxiety, in both children and adults.  Keeping things as routine as possible can help prevent anxiety because it eliminates a great deal of decisions that can cause stress, such as what to wear, what to eat, etc.

Anxiety and depression often go hand-in-hand. Talking to a therapist or trusted friend about struggles with can often help people find solutions or emotional peace about situations.  In addition, self-compassion can also alleviate stress and anxiety as well as provide motivation to persevere through difficult situations (Harvard Business Review) Creating solid plans to address things causing stress and anxiety can also help ease anxiety; instead of just saying “I have to do this,” try saying “I have to do this on this particular date and at this particular time.”  Being able to have a concrete plan can often calm people down, simply because it takes some of the uncertainty out of a situation and allows for planning and preparation of a solution.  If there is nothing to be done about a situation, prayer and fellowship can often help people find serenity.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

 

Viewing life as “progress, not perfection,” can also help people handle anxiety.  Although everyone strives for some degree of perfection, as long as progress is being made, things can only get better. Constantly learning and improving oneself can help people handle situations which cause them distress (Harvard Business Review).

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

Do Something: 11 Facts About Anxiety

Harvard Business Review: Nine Ways Successful People Defeat Stress

Blog Post by: Sarah Warner, M.S.

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